H. Lundbeck A/S Release: New Study: Art Therapy May Build Self-Esteem In People Living With Epilepsy

Research Results from Nationwide Studio E: The Epilepsy Art Therapy Program Presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Epilepsy Society

Studio E Artwork on Display Across the Country to Raise Epilepsy Awareness

SEATTLE--(BUSINESS WIRE)--People living with epilepsy report increased self-esteem after participating in Studio E: The Epilepsy Art Therapy Program, according to a new study presented today at the annual meeting of the American Epilepsy Society (AES), in Seattle, Wash. Studio E is a multi-week program made possible nationwide through a partnership between the Epilepsy Foundation and the pharmaceutical company Lundbeck.

“This study brings further validity to the inspirational transformations we’ve seen among participants in Studio E sessions.”

“We consistently witness the therapeutic power of art therapy among Studio E participants across the country, whether it be increased confidence or a release from stigma among people previously hesitant to share their epilepsy story with others,” said Lacy Vitko, lead art therapy coordinator at the Epilepsy Foundation’s national office in Washington D.C., and co-author of the study. “This study brings further validity to the inspirational transformations we’ve seen among participants in Studio E sessions.”

The Epilepsy Foundation and Lundbeck partnered in 2011 to pilot Studio E in four U.S. cities. Given the program’s success, it was gradually expanded in 2012 and 2013, and is now available in nearly 50 U.S. cities, making it the first national program of its kind. It is offered free of charge through the Epilepsy Foundation’s network of affiliates and Lundbeck’s financial and volunteer support.

“My involvement in this program dates back five years when we first started doing epilepsy art therapy in Chicago, and it was a dream of mine to make this possible throughout the country,” said Jill Gattone, manager of epilepsy advocacy and patient support at Lundbeck, and co-author of the study. “The transformation in terms of increased self-expression, confidence and friendships at every Studio E program compel us to keep improving and expanding this wonderful program.”

About the Study

Nine Studio E programs were included in the study, which enrolled 67 people living with epilepsy.1 Master’s degree level art therapists were trained in the program and facilitated the groups using an open studio model of art therapy for 3 hours each week. Art therapists provided a variety of art materials and invited participants to set an intention, make art, write about their experience, and share with others.1 Pre- and post-intervention outcomes were measured using the Rosenberg Self-Esteem Scale (RSES) and the Quality of Life in Epilepsy Inventory-10 (QOLIE-10).1

Program participants showed significant improvements in self-esteem, as measured by the Rosenberg Self-Esteem Scale, after participating in the art therapy program (t=1.796, p=0.03). Self-esteem measures in the study included feelings of self-worth, self-respect, and ability to do things as well as most other people.1 In addition, only eight people dropped from the study, suggesting participants found this to be a useful program.1

Because of the success of the art therapy program, a randomized controlled trial is in development to provide further evidence of the impact of Studio E.

About Studio E

Studio E is a 6-8 week program consisting of weekly 3-hour sessions. It is open to all people living with epilepsy. Participants create art using a variety of mediums, such as painting, sketching, collaging and sculpting, and work with professional art therapists who encourage freedom of expression and open sharing. Participants socialize with others affected by seizures and, using art, open up honestly about daily challenges.

To raise awareness of epilepsy, seizures, and the role of art making as therapy, artwork by Studio E participants is currently on display at AES, as well as in public locations and doctor’s offices around the country.

People living with epilepsy can learn more about Studio E by visiting www.epilepsy.com. Artwork from the Studio E program can be viewed online at www.YourPartnerInEpilepsy.com.

About Epilepsy

When a person has two or more unprovoked seizures, they have epilepsy,2 which affects nearly 3 million people in the United States3 and 65 million people worldwide.2 This year, another 150,000 people in our country will be diagnosed with epilepsy.3

About the Epilepsy Foundation

The Epilepsy Foundation, a national non-profit with 48 affiliated organizations throughout the United States, has led the fight against seizures since 1968. The Foundation is an unwavering ally for individuals and families impacted by epilepsy and seizures. The mission of the Epilepsy Foundation is to stop seizures and sudden unexpected death in epilepsy (SUDEP), find a cure and overcome the challenges created by epilepsy through efforts including education, advocacy and research to accelerate ideas into therapies. The Foundation works to ensure that people with seizures have the opportunity to live their lives to their fullest potential. For additional information, please visit www.epilepsy.com.

About Lundbeck in the U.S.

Lundbeck in the U.S., headquartered in Deerfield, Illinois, is a wholly-owned subsidiary of H. Lundbeck A/S in Denmark. Globally, our mission is to help people suffering from psychiatric and neurologic disorders. To drive this mission in the U.S., nearly 800 employees are engaged in the research, development, production, marketing and sale of innovative specialty therapies that fulfill unmet medical needs. We see the person behind the disease and how it affects the lives of patients, families and caregivers. Lundbeck is actively involved with hundreds of local and national U.S. events each year that support our patient communities. To learn more, visit us at www.LundbeckUS.com and connect with us on Twitter at @LundbeckUS.


1. Buelow JM, Vitko LR, Gattone JM. “The Impact of an Art Therapy Program on Self-Esteem and Quality of Life in People with Epilepsy.” American Epilepsy Society Annual Meeting 2014. Abstract #3.321.

2. Epilepsy Foundation. About Epilepsy: The Basics. http://www.epilepsy.com/learn/about-epilepsy-basics. Accessed 11/17/14.

3. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Epilepsy Basics: Frequently Asked Questions. http://www.cdc.gov/epilepsy/basics/faqs.htm. Accessed 11/17/14.



Matt Flesch

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